4 years ago

Respiratory syncytial virus A in haematological patients with prolonged shedding: premature stop codons and deletion of the genotype ON1 72-nucleotide-duplication in the attachment G gene

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) can be associated with severe disease and prolonged shedding in immunocompromised patients. Objective To investigate the genetic variability of RSV in consecutive samples of haematological patients with prolonged RSV shedding. Study design Haematological patients at the University Hospital Heidelberg are routinely screened for respiratory viruses during winter season. In patients with prolonged RSV shedding between 2011–2014, Sanger-sequencing of the second hypervariable region of the RSV G gene was performed in consecutive samples. Further, deep-sequencing was performed in representative samples. Results Patients with prolonged RSV-A shedding were analysed (n=16, mean shedding 90 days, 81.2% male). Phylogenetic analysis identified RSV genotypes NA1 (2011/12) or ON1 (2012/13). In most patients (n=12/16), Sanger-sequencing of the G gene showed identical sequences over the course of the shedding period. However, in two patients with particularly long viral shedding (333 and 142 days), Sanger-sequencing revealed the presence of mutations leading to premature stop codons (37 and 70 amino acids truncated) in the G gene. In one additional patient, deep-sequencing revealed variants with premature stop codons at different positions. All three patients received repeatedly intravenous immunoglobulins. Interestingly, deep-sequencing revealed also a loss of the characteristic 72-nucleotide-duplication in all analysed ON1 strains. Conclusions Long shedding periods and lack of immune selective pressure in the immunocompromised host seems to allow the persistence of viruses stripping a part of the C-terminus of the G glycoprotein. The loss of the characteristic 72-nucleotide-duplication in RSV-A ON1 variant strains is here described for the first time.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1386653217303116

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